Sep 9, 2023 - News

Chicago bathroom incorporates bamboo wall, spa-like features

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

One way some Chicagoans are escaping the hustle and bustle of the city is by carving out a natural escape in a room you might not expect — the bathroom.

What's happening: Many homeowners are enlarging their showers and installing therapeutic upgrades in the name of wellness.

🛀 Most frequently added or upgraded primary bathroom features in Chicago
Data: Houzz; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

By the numbers: When Chicago residents upgrade their bathrooms, they consider adjusting a number of features.

  • Most local renovators are looking to change or add everything from plumbing fixtures and lighting to toilets and shower stalls.
  • When removing a bathtub, 78% of U.S. homeowners enlarge the shower, according to a 2022 Houzz trend report.
  • And "larger walk-in showers" tops the list of desired bathroom features — with 60% of respondents interested — per a national survey by The American Institute of Architects.

Therapeutic bathroom add-ons were a major feature of industry trade shows this year, says Jamie Gold, wellness design consultant and author.

  • Among the new offerings: Kohler introduced a "sprig" showerhead attachment that releases a variety of scents.

Three in four homeowners incorporate premium bathroom features into their showers, per Houzz.

  • Among the bathroom updates: rainfall showerheads (52%), dual showers (19%), body sprayers (16%), thermostatic mixers (13%) and mood lighting (8%).
A photo showing a bathroom with a large see-through shower and a bathtub. A plant hangs near the tub and a window.
A contemporary bathroom in Chicago by Blender Architecture. Photo: Darris Lee Harris Photography

This Chicago bathroom has taken tranquility to the next level with a walk-in shower, multiple sprayers and a bamboo wall (to the left).

What they're saying: "If the project is in a space in which we're not looking out onto nature … we're trying to bring nature into it," says Richard Blender, owner of Blender Architecture, about the bamboo wall he incorporated into the room.

  • Connecting a home with nature or outside space gives clients "another level of being able to relax [and] develop their own sense of calm," he says.

Go deeper: New home trend: Spa-like showers


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